Date: June 3, 2018
Race 14 of 36: Pocono Raceway
Track Specs: 2.5-mile triangle / 160 laps / 400 miles
Standings (from leader): 21st (-375)
RECAPPING THE RACE:
William Byron and the No. 24 UniFirst Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 team had a solid afternoon in Sunday’s 400-mile race at Pocono Raceway. After starting 16th, Byron ran inside the top 10 near the end of the event before losing a handful of positions during a series of late-race restarts and finishing 18th.
Starting Sunday’s race in 16th, Byron climbed into the top 10 as competitors made green-flag pit stops early in Stage 1. When he made a stop of his own for right-side tires and fuel, he stalled on the way out of his pit stall, costing several positions. He ultimately finished Stage 1 in 17th.
Quick work by the No. 24 UniFirst pit crew allowed Byron to gain three positions on pit road prior to the start of Stage 2, and the driver lined up inside the top 15 to begin the second segment. He drove from 14th to 11th within a few laps of taking the green, but settled into 13th on Lap 72, where he ran until the next round of green-flag stops began a few laps later. After stopping for four tires and fuel, he rejoined the field in 18th on Lap 81 as pit stops continued to cycle through.
Following the cycle of stops, Byron was able to get the No. 24 UniFirst Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 back inside the top 15 to finish Stage 2 in 13th. He maintained his position in the top 15 for the majority of the last stage. Late in the final segment, he raced into the top 10 before a caution occurred on Lap 146, with just 14 laps remaining in the event. He restarted ninth on Lap 150, but was scored 11th when yet another caution occurred just after the field took the green. Byron restarted 11th with just seven laps remaining. He was shuffled back during the restart, however, and crossed the finish line 18th.
Jimmie Johnson led the way for Hendrick Motorsports with a top-10 finish – his fifth in the last seven races. Johnson took the checkered flag eighth, and Chase Elliott joined him inside the top 10 with a 10th-place result. Alex Bowman, who made contact with the wall late in the race after contact from a competitor, finished 27th.
QUOTING WILLIAM BYRON:
“We seemed to have a pretty good day. We just took off a little bit tight on the last restart and got stuck in some bad aero spots, but, overall, not bad. It was good to get a solid finish and have executed pretty well to put ourselves in a good position. We just needed probably a 15-lap run just to get spread out a little bit. But, it was not bad, and we’ll go on to Michigan.”